Panthers for a week

Starr’s Mill hosts French foreign exchange students


Courtesy of Jill Snelgrove

French foreign exchange students gather for a photo in Panther Stadium. The program offers participants the opportunity to experience American teenage life.

Shaila Bah, Staff Writer

Starr’s Mill families are currently hosting exchange students from France. The experience began last Friday and runs for 10 days.

“Everything is so different, it feels like we are on vacation,” Ribeiro said.

The exchange students have had the opportunity to experience American teenage life, including the Homecoming dance last Saturday and the American version of Halloween earlier this week.

When asked about her favorite experience here in America, French foreign exchange student Clara Ribeiro said, “Halloween, we have that [in France,] but it’s different.” 

The French foreign exchange students have gone to classes with the students they are paired with and have also experienced Atlanta with their host families, including visiting the World of Coca-Cola.

This is the third exchange program that French teacher Jill Snelgrove has participated in and  the second here at Starr’s Mill. 

“The host and exchange students connect on a different level,” Snelgrove said. “Even the students who aren’t hosting have really connected with these exchange students. They’ve been outgoing and curious, they’ve learned a lot, and they see things differently now.”

There are a number of differences between classrooms here in America and in France.

“In France, our students got a break time in the morning for 15 minutes and in the afternoon,” Ms. Akrouf said, who arrived along with the French students last Friday.

Akrouf continued saying that the lunch time in France is an hour and 20 minutes, while Starr’s Mill lunches are only 30 minutes. In France, students cannot use their phones in the classroom, nor can they eat and drink in classrooms, unlike in America.

If students want to have a drink of water they have to ask permission to go outside in the corridor. There are longer school days here in America, and in France, classes are different every day. Sometimes the students leave school early at 3 p.m. and some days they leave school as late as 5 p.m.

The foreign exchange students return to France on November 8. Students in the French class here at Starr’s Mill will switch roles in the spring, when they will travel to France to stay with their host families for a week.